I was reminded yesterday of a tiny little gem of a moment during my last work review. You know those work reviews, a delightful melange boredom and irritation, with a soupcon of discomfort thrown in for balance. My supervisor had gone over the small forest worth of useless paperwork and had reached the "needs improvement" portion of our program.
"We talked about your unwillingness to change last time," she said. "I haven't seen any real improvement in that area."
So...you're saying my resistance to change is unchanged? Huh. Weird. Whodathunkit?
Look, I know I'm resistant to change. I know it isn't a good quality. But here's the thing, in certain arenas [coughworkcough] change inevitably means disasters of epic proportions.
That last bit might be a slight exaggeration.
But things go wrong in the lab when there's change. Stuff gets lost. Samples are collected incorrectly. Everything takes so much longer, which means work stacks up and people become querulous. I find it distressing. Then I become very put out. Harsh words and bad language often ensues.
I'm just saying.
My antipathy toward the C word now encompasses new work equipment. Don't look at me like that--if the stuff worked, I wouldn't have a problem with it. Or worked as well. I think people bring in new stuff just because it's new, not necessarily better.
I may, however, overreact. The teensiest bit. Like I did yesterday.
The centrifuge in my lab was fine. Fine. But because one had to push back a bit on the lid, a new one was brought in. The baskets [the things that hold the tubes] are strangely shaped, making more difficult to set opposing weights perfectly. This is important, for a centrifuge. It beeps when it's done spinning. Constantly. Until you open the lid. Beeps. Yeah. And the fan is really loud. And if the power goes out as we're spinning samples...we can't open it. That's right. We have to call someone in.
All of this was bad enough, but after the technician left and I was loading tubes into the new [grr!] centrifuge and across the top, I saw...smudges.
"ARG!" I shrieked. "Look! Look, the top is all smudgey!!!!"
"Well, what got on there?" asked my faintly harrassed coworker. "Maybe Nick had something on his hands."
"It's not what made the lid smudgey," I snapped, grabbing a disinfecting wipe and scrubbing the offending marks. "It's the fact that the lid can get smudgey at all. The old centrifuge never got smudgey!"
My poor coworker's lips trembled. "You know, my life was okay until you joined Weight Watchers!! Now, I can't just give you a cookie!"
See? I'm not the only one who doesn't like change.